Adverbs of time

Adverbs of time tell you when something happened. They express a point in time.
These adverbs of time are often used:
  • to talk about the past: yesterday, the day before, ago, last week/month/year
  • to talk about the present: still, yet, while, when
  • to talk about the future: soon, then, next week/month/year, in 2 days, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow
Study the following examples:
  • John went to the cinema yesterday. He had to work the day before. Last week he was on vacation.
  • When Julia talks to her boyfriend, she is really happy. This month, however, she hasn't seen him yet.
  • The family will go on vacation soon. Next month they will go to Italy. Then they will go to Spain.
Other adverbs of time can be used to talk about the past, the present and the future:
  • already, finally, eventually, after, before
Look at the examples:
  • We must hurry up, George is already waiting for us.
  • They were finally able to buy a new car.
  • I have never been to the US, but eventually I will go there next year.
Adverbs of time can also tell you how long something lasted or lasts. They express a period of time.
These adverbs of time are often used:
  • since, for, one year, two days, three weeks, four months, ….
Look at the examples:
  • She hasn't seen him since 1999.
  • Tom has stayed in England for one year.
Note: You use since in combination of a specific point of time, for example a year or a date. You use for in combination with the length of a time period.

Word order

Usually, adverbs of time come after the verb and the object. In many cases, that's at the end of the sentence. However, you can also put the adverb of time in the beginning of a sentence! The position of the adverb depends on your intention:
  • If you want to point out a fact, like an action, then you use the usual word order: subject + verb + object + adverb.
    • John went to the cinema yesterday. He had to work the day before.
  • If you want to point out the time, you put the adverb of time in the beginning of the sentence: adverb + subject + verb + object.
    • Yesterday John went to the cinema. The day before he had to work.
Put the words into the right order. Try to point out the fact, not the time.

Part 1 / 4


1. Wordlist

    • today[təˈdeɪ](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • on the current day or date
    • Example:
      • I want this done today.
    • yesterday[ˈjɛstədeɪ](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • on the day before today
    • Example:
      • I started to watch the video yesterday, but could only finish the movie today.
      • Synonym(s):
        the previous day
      • Antonym(s):
    • tomorrow(adverb)
    • Definition:
      • on the day after the present day
    • Example:
      • Do you have school tomorrow?
      • Antonym(s):
    • before[bɪˈfɔː](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • at an earlier time; in advance of something
    • Example:
      • I've never done this before.
      • Synonym(s):
      • Antonym(s):
    • after[ˈɑːf.tə(ɹ)](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • later in time; following a point in time
    • Example:
      • After he had finished his Master's degree, he started to work as an engineer.
    • ago[əˈɡəʊ](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • a time already finished
    • Example:
      • Ten years ago we lived in Texas.
    • still[stɪl](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • up to this point in time
    • Example:
      • Is it still raining?
      • Synonym(s):
    • soon[suːn](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • within a short time; quickly
    • Example:
      • I'm sure it will stop raining soon.
    • then[ðɛn](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • at that time
      • next in order; in addition
    • Example:
      • She told him she loved him, then he was happy.
    • finally[ˈfaɪnəli](adverb)
    • Definition:
      • at the end or conclusion; to finish (with)
    • Example:
      • The battle was long, but finally the Romans conquered their opponent.
      • Synonym(s):
        at last, eventually

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